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Some efforts had been made during the inter-war years to investigate landing military forces by sea, but inadequate funding severely limited any useful progress.
The Kriegsmarine had taken some small steps in remedying the landing craft situation with construction of the Pionierlandungsboot 39 Engineer Landing Boat 39a self-propelled shallow-draft vessel which could carry 45 infantrymen, two light vehicles or 20 tons of cargo and land on an open beach, unloading via a pair of clamshell doors at the bow.
But by late September only two prototypes had been delivered.
Given barely two months to assemble a large seagoing invasion fleet, the Kriegsmarine opted to convert inland river barges into makeshift landing craft. Approximately 2, barges were collected from throughout Europe from Germany, 1, from the Netherlands and Belgium and from France. Of these, only about were powered some insufficiently ; the rest had to be towed by tugs. Of the barges collected for the invasion, 1, were classified as peniches and as Kampinen. For simplicity's sake, the Germans designated any barge up to the size of a standard peniche as Type A1 and anything larger as Type A2.
As modified, the Type A1 barge could accommodate three medium tanks while the Type A2 could carry four. The Type B required a longer external ramp 11 meters with a float attached to the front of it. Once the barge anchored, the crew would extend the internally stowed ramp using block and tackle sets until it was resting on the water's surface.
As the first tank rolled forward onto the ramp, its weight would tilt the forward end of the ramp into the water and push it down onto the seabed. Once the tank rolled off, the ramp would bob back up to a horizontal position, ready for the next one to exit.
The Navy High Command increased its initial order for 60 of these vessels to 70 in order to compensate for expected losses. A further five were ordered on 30 September as a reserve.
Because of the extra width of the floats attached to this tank, cutting a broad exit ramp into the bow of the barge was not considered advisable as it would have compromised the vessel's seaworthiness to an unacceptable degree. Instead, a large hatch was cut into the stern, thereby allowing the tanks to drive directly into deep water before turning under their own motive power and heading towards shore. The Type C barge could accommodate up to four Schwimmpanzern in its hold.
Approximately 14 of these craft were available by the end of September. The extra weight of this additional armour and equipment reduced the barge's load capacity to 40 tons. By mid-August, 18 of these craft, designated Type AS, had been converted, and another five were ordered on 30 September. The Kriegsmarine was highly sceptical of this venture, but the Heer Army high command enthusiastically embraced the concept and Siebel proceeded with the conversions.
Cooling water was stored in tanks mounted above-deck. As completed, the Type AF had a speed of six knots, and a range of 60 nautical miles unless auxiliary fuel tanks were fitted. Disadvantages of this set-up included an inability to back the vessel astern, limited maneuverability and the deafening noise of the engines which would have made voice commands problematic. Though the Type A barges could disembark several medium tanks onto an open beach, this could be accomplished only at low tide when the barges were firmly grounded.
The time needed for assembling the external ramps also meant that both the tanks and the ramp assembly crews would be exposed to close-quarter enemy fire for a considerable time. A safer and faster method was needed and the Germans eventually settled on providing some tanks with floats and making others fully submersible.
The boxes were machined from aluminium stock and filled with Kapok sacks for added buoyancy. Motive power came from the tank's own tracks which were connected by rods to a propeller shaft running through each float. The Schwimmpanzer II could make 5. An inflatable rubber hose around the turret ring created a waterproof seal between the hull and turret.
Dr. Gordon Edwards: "The Age of Nuclear Waste is Just Beginning" | badz.info
Because of the great width of the pontoons, Schwimmpanzer IIs were to be deployed from specially-modified Type C landing barges, from which they could be launched directly into open water from a large hatch cut into the stern. The Germans converted 52 of these tanks to amphibious use prior to Sea Lion's cancellation.
The gap between the turret and hull was sealed with an inflatable hose while the main gun mantlet, commander's cupola and radio operator's machine gun were given special rubber coverings. Once the tank reached the shore, all covers and seals could be blown off via explosive cables, enabling normal combat operation.
A radio antenna was also attached to the float to provide communication between the tank crew and the transport barge. The tank's engine was converted to be cooled with seawater, and the exhaust pipes were fitted with overpressure valves. Any water seeping into the tank's hull could be expelled by an internal bilge pump.
Navigation underwater was accomplished using a directional gyrocompass or by following instructions radioed from the transport barge. Obstacles such as underwater trenches or large rocks tended to stop the tanks in their tracks, and it was decided for this reason that they should be landed at high tide so that any mired tanks could be retrieved at low tide.
This was due to the ballast needed to offset the weight of the tanks, and the requirement that the coasters be grounded to prevent them from capsizing as the tanks were transferred by crane onto the vessel's wooden side ramps.
These difficulties led to development of the Type B barge. This gave them a paper strength of machines, about the equivalent of an armoured division.
The Krupp bridge consisted of a series of 32m-long connecting platforms, each supported on the seabed by four steel columns. The platforms could be raised or lowered by heavy-duty winches in order to accommodate the tide. The German Navy initially ordered eight complete Krupp units composed of six platforms each. This was reduced to six units by the autumn ofand eventually cancelled altogether when it became apparent that Sea Lion would never take place.
Referred to as the "German jetty" by local inhabitants, they remained standing for the next thirty-six years until demolition crews finally removed them in —79, a testament to their durability. This "floating roadway" was formed from a series of joined modules that could be towed into place to act as a temporary jetty. Moored ships could then either unload their cargo directly onto the roadbed or lower it down onto waiting vehicles via their heavy-duty booms.
It was easily transportable by rail. It was originally intended for use by Army engineers to assist with river crossings. Three of them were assigned to Tank Detachment as part of the invasion; it was intended to use them for pulling ashore unpowered assault barges and towing vehicles across the beaches.
They would also have been used to carry supplies directly ashore during the six hours of falling tide when the barges were grounded. It was proposed to build enough tractors that one or two could be assigned to each invasion barge, but the late date and difficulties in mass-producing the vehicle prevented this.
The Germans had to invent and improvise a lot of equipment. So how much water would you need? It turns out to be almost exactly equal to Lake Superior. Nobody knows how to turn off radioactivity. Nobody knows how to shut it off. And what is radioactivity? Basically, these atoms that are broken pieces of uranium atoms or else transmuted, heavier-than-uranium atoms like plutonium, these atoms are unstable, which means that they are like little miniature time bombs.
They explode and when they explode, they give off damaging subatomic shrapnel which is called atomic radiation, and this exists in three major kinds: Gamma radiation is very dangerous, too. In fact, one fuel bundle, which is about this big.
Dr. Gordon Edwards: “The Age of Nuclear Waste is Just Beginning”
They will only be handled robotically, by robots or by remote equipment. So how did we get into this? How do we build so many nuclear reactors? The fact is people were lied to.
So these were built on false premises, these reactors. And I think now the time has come when people are more and more realizing that this is all a big lie, and that we made a big mistake in swallowing that lie, and going along with it because we trusted the scientists, thinking scientists were sort of like gods.
This is the way the nuclear industry has always behaved. We can prevent reactors from exploding. We can prevent all the bad effects. For example, we can prevent these materials from being used in atomic weapons.
This is beyond human power. Germany had seventeen nuclear reactors. By the year they should have them all shut down. It turns out that they spent billions of dollars in refurbishing some of the old reactors, and these refurbished reactors are operating at about a percent capacity factor. In the meantime, Ontario can actually do itself a favor. It would cost far less to buy the surplus hydro power than it would to refurbish those reactors.
They can also do Quebec a favor because they are now selling that surplus hydro power to the United States at a loss, and you could also do the people of the country a favor by getting rid of this liability.
It can have catastrophic failures just like any other reactor because the fundamental problem is not the mechanism of the machinery. It is not based upon the machinery.Gordon Edwards 4
So a nuclear reactor is not just a machine for generating electricity. Would you want to have in your backyard a warehouse full of the most dangerous radioactive poisons you can imagine? And as a matter of fact even nuclear scientists, for example, I heard Alvin Weinberg, one of the deans of nuclear energy—he was the head of the Oak Ridge nuclear division down in the United States which developed the first enriched uranium atomic bomb—and he said we nuclear scientists—this was back in even before Three Mile Island—he said that we nuclear scientists have made a big mistake in thinking that nuclear power is just another form of generating electricity.
We should not be building these near large cities at all. Now he was pro-nuclear. Look at what we have done here in Ontario. Can you imagine anything more stupid? We would be contaminating the water supply for forty million people, and not just for one generation but for several generations to come.
So it seems that people are beginning to wake up and realize that this is not the way to go. It all went into nuclear weapons. There were military contracts. In fact, that was the only market there was for it. We also, by the way, sold all of our plutonium for bombs to the United States from the Chalk River reactors that we built. Well, it sounds good but the problem is when you sell uranium for peaceful purposes, what happens to it?
You put it into a nuclear reactor, the uranium atoms get chopped up and create all these poisons we talked about, but some of the uranium atoms actually absorb a neutron to become a little heavier, and they turn into a substance called plutonium which has a 24,year half-life and which is the nuclear explosive that is most useful in all nuclear weapons.
So here in Canada, even though we are thought of worldwide as being like the Saudi Arabia of uranium, in terms of how much uranium we have in, for example, the province of Saskatchewan, we already have two provinces that have banned uranium mining altogether: British Columbia has declared a permanent ban. There will never be uranium mining in the province of British Columbia.
In Nova Scotia we had a ban on uranium mining declared in which again was a temporary ban which extended right up until a couple of years ago and when it was made into a permanent law.
Out of that symposium came an international declaration calling… and again led by the physicians… the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War IPPNW —they won the Nobel Prize Peace Prize in —and they have the led the way on this, calling for a worldwide ban on uranium mining. So is arsenic, but arsenic is actually safer to mine than asbestos is. So asbestos should just be left in the ground, and uranium is of the same character, even more so.
Asbestos threatens the health of anybody who comes in contact with it. Uranium threatens the entire planet. We think this is just plain common sense. And of course the main weapon of mass destruction really is not chemical weapons, bacteriological weapons—horrible as they are—but nuclear weapons which include all the worst characteristics of those two together with further dangers. So why would you want to bring that material to the surface? What is uranium needed for?
What is uranium used for.